Do you remember playing Forza or Gran Turismo as a kid? Back before you really knew the intricacies of tuning, when you would just slap all the highest-rated parts on a car and hope for the best? You’d end up with cars that had enormous wings, huge fender flares, and non-factory engines. If you were really lucky, and picked everything well, it might even come together as well as Nissan’s new Super GT Z.
The Nissan Z GT500 is fittingly designed to compete in the GT500 class of Japanese Super GT racing, going up against the Toyota Supra and the Honda NSX (remember, Japan). GT500 follows the Class One rulebook for car design, meaning little is actually shared with the Nissan Z you’ll be able to buy from a dealer.
The Z GT500, like all GT500 (and soon, DTM) cars, is powered by a turbocharged two-liter four-cylinder engine making 650 horsepower. That absolutely buckwild aero package, from the triple-stacked canards to the flared fenders to the enormous swan-neck wing, is also shared with its competitors.
The Z GT500 replaces Nissan’s longest-running Super GT racer, their GT-R. It’s a bit of a return to form for the company, since that GT-R replaced the 350z as Nissan’s top-spec Super GT racer. That car, however, didn’t have nearly the aero treatment of the upcoming Z — and didn’t look nearly as interesting as a result.
I’ve long held the theory that the dominant style of car modification, for an era, will always be based on the dominant motorsport of the time; whether that’s drag racing and road courses, or the current trend towards drift and time attack. Look at all those Pandem and Rocket Bunny kits, the big APR or BattleAero wings, and this is where they all draw their inspiration.
Unfortunately, due to the GT500 class’s tight rule set, it’s near-guaranteed Nissan will never make anything like this Z for the road. If they did, though, I may just have to get myself a new daily.